Hastings 'fury' at Network Rail closures over Easter

  • 2 April 2012
  • From the section Sussex
Hastings castle ruins and view of the town
Image caption Hastings council said Easter railway closures to a major holiday resort were "unbelievable"

Railway engineering work affecting all three routes into Hastings over Easter has been condemned by tourism chiefs.

Hastings council said the authority and tourist attractions in the Sussex town were furious that bank holiday weekend visitors were being forced on to buses.

Council spokesman Kevin Boorman said work should be done at a quieter time, not the start of the visitor season.

A Network Rail spokesman said the work had been carefully planned with train companies to minimise disruption.

Mr Boorman said: "This is, quite simply, disgraceful.

"The Easter weekend is traditionally the start of the visitor season, and we've had some tremendous publicity recently with the opening of the Jerwood Gallery, and the completion of the Stade improvement works."

'Huge amount'

He added: "Whilst I obviously appreciate engineering work needs to be done, to close the station at a major holiday resort over Easter is just unbelievable."

The Network Rail spokesman said "a huge amount" of work from Saturday to Monday included the installation of a new communications mast, maintenance and repairs to Hastings tunnel and other improvements.

He added: "In some instances, work has been brought forward to Easter, as Network Rail has pledged that there will be no planned closures on the railway for three months this summer, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games periods."

He said bringing work forward meant popular destinations such as Hastings could draw maximum benefit from hundreds of thousands of extra visitors to the UK this summer.

"Bank holidays are traditionally one of the quietest times on the railway, however we apologise for any additional journey times people may experience," he added.

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